The hardest part about getting into TV & film is securing your first job. For aspiring filmmakers of color from Los Angeles, the industry often feels lightyears away, even though it's here in our backyard. Hollywood is exploitative, and often relies on unpaid internships, which working-class folks cannot sustain in a city where the cost of living continues to grow. Justice for My Sister offers paid on-the-job training to close the gap and provide pathways to financial stability for our artists.
When emerging filmmakers of color from low-income communities cannot find paid industry work, it affects them and their families who rely on them for financial support. In the case of our participants who experience gender-based violence (30%), underemployment can increase physical and mental harm, as many individuals in abusive relationships stay due to a lack of economic independence. A job pipeline for these emerging filmmakers is crucial in building power and resiliency in our communities.
The PA Certification Program positions students to perfect their skills and land additional jobs by providing paid on-set jobs and mentorships. We pair students with industry professionals who are eager to share their knowledge and passion. These professionals serve as bridges into the industry. We simultaneously sponsor PAs on independent film sets led by professionals of color, which are notoriously underfunded, thus building capacity for deserving local productions helmed by artists of color.
In the next year, the Justice for My Sister (JFMS) Production Assistant (PA) Certification Program will provide 30 low-income emerging filmmakers of color with 100 hours of skill development, job training, professional mentorships, and production experience. We will place our graduates in additional jobs and positions through our job placement pipeline, thus jumpstarting our participants' careers and fostering community. We will place our filmmakers in 1,440 hours of paid work over a year.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).